Atari 520 with Glitches

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mpcruz
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Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby mpcruz » Tue May 16, 2017 11:48 am

I got an Atari 520STfm and a 520STe that are with a strange behavior. I have a pack of games that I use to test the Ataris and some games are crashing the Atari screen. I have some pictures of the crashes:

F29
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MIDNIGHT RESISTANCE
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DRAGON SPIRIT
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This games I have teste on others 1040STf and 520STfm and they ran with no problems. I have tested too, just to know that the game disks are fine, all the games on Hatari with TOS 1.00 UK and 512MB and everything ran fine. Then I converted the disks to .ST and sent to a friend that tested on his 1040STf and it ran with no glitches.

Any idea about this????

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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby Greenious » Tue May 16, 2017 3:21 pm

Try reseating the socketed chips (and simms in STE).
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby mpcruz » Wed May 17, 2017 12:57 pm

Do you mean the memory chips? On the 520STfm they are soldered and on the 520STe, I removed the SIMMs and reinserted but same problem.

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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby mpcruz » Wed May 17, 2017 1:21 pm

I removed on the 520STfm all chips that are socketed and reseat again. Same thing on the screen :(

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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby Greenious » Wed May 17, 2017 2:41 pm

Well, the perfect tool to test your ataris at this point, since it boots, would be to use a diagnostic cartridge.

Have you got the service manuals for your ST's? (http://dev-docs.atariforge.org/)

What's the history of these Atari's? Have you had them all along, ie they did work and suddenly got problems, or did you buy them in this state? The more you can tell, the better. I find it kinda strange that both exhibit the same behaviour. Have you looked closely inside them, is everything "original" or is there any sign at all of added/removed hw? Used any non-working addons with both that might have broken them?
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby mpcruz » Wed May 17, 2017 10:39 pm

Where I can get the best diagnostic cartridge?

These two are new Ataris for my collection. Sometimes it bombs too. Very strange behavior.

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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby dlfrsilver » Thu May 18, 2017 8:19 am

seriously, first, you must service them before using them. If the PSU have not been recapped, do it. same for the motherboards.

If you still have any problem, then the capacitors will be ruled out.
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby mpcruz » Fri May 19, 2017 4:51 am

After some tests, I think the problem is with the disk drive. This is not an original drive. It was replaced with a Chinon FB-354. I swap for other ones and the games don't have this glitch anymore. Maybe a DMA problem?

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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby mpcruz » Fri May 19, 2017 3:04 pm

Thanks to Exxos that helps me to find the solution!

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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby dlfrsilver » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:30 pm

what was it then ?
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby alexh » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:40 pm

dlfrsilver wrote:seriously, first, you must service them before using them. If the PSU have not been recapped, do it. same for the motherboards.

Total rubbish. If it isn't broken don't fix it. (with the exception of batteries which can leak). Just keep an eye on them, check for bulges.

You're much more likely to destroy your AtariST by trying to recap it without the correct tools / experience than leaving/operating it with 30yo capacitors.

mpcruz wrote:Thanks to Exxos that helps me to find the solution!

Glad you got it fixed.

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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby dlfrsilver » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:13 am

Total rubbish. If it isn't broken don't fix it. (with the exception of batteries which can leak). Just keep an eye on them, check for bulges.


Chris (and he is not alone) said that recapping must be done. the capacitors went way beyond their life span and they're all dead now.

The exterior aspect can't be used as a proof of "working good". I have recapped the last 1040 STE i bought, and while outside everything was ok, there was leaked poo under them when i removed them !

You're much more likely to destroy your AtariST by trying to recap it without the correct tools / experience than leaving/operating it with 30yo capacitors.


That's another problem. Of course, in order to do a good recapping, you need the correct tools.
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby Gaiyan » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:41 am

I recapped two busted Atari ST and Mega ST PSUs yesterday. Both worked after that. Took less than an hour. I do have proper tools and good ones at that. Point is, they are practically "walking dead" as many have pointed out. Replacing them is so easy and fast that why the heck wouldn't you recap? Even a novice who bothers to read a few guides online and spends a little money can do it easily.
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby Greenious » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:58 am

While recapping is necessary sooner or later, I would not exaggerate the subject. Age certainly affects electrolytic caps, but also useage and storing conditions aswell as the quality of the manufacturer.

If it has been used sparingly and stored in a cool cellar, recapping is likely not needed yet, if it has been running 24/7 and stored in a hot attic, odds are magnitudes higher that a recapping is due...

Occular inspection of a cap is no guarantee though, a dried out cap doesn't necessarily bulge.

Anyway... in the end it is down to the end user to decide when to recap his/her equipment, although it is a reality and will eventually be needed on all equipment, please don't exaggerate the subject, and don't subscribe to the fixed idea of it needing to be done at a fixed age of the equipment. I'm sure there are Ataris out there that can go on for many years more without recapping. Heck, there are even older equipment than our Ataris that still runs well without a recap...
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby Gaiyan » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:32 pm

Greenious wrote:While recapping is necessary sooner or later, I would not exaggerate the subject. Age certainly affects electrolytic caps, but also useage and storing conditions aswell as the quality of the manufacturer.

If it has been used sparingly and stored in a cool cellar, recapping is likely not needed yet, if it has been running 24/7 and stored in a hot attic, odds are magnitudes higher that a recapping is due...

Occular inspection of a cap is no guarantee though, a dried out cap doesn't necessarily bulge.

Anyway... in the end it is down to the end user to decide when to recap his/her equipment, although it is a reality and will eventually be needed on all equipment, please don't exaggerate the subject, and don't subscribe to the fixed idea of it needing to be done at a fixed age of the equipment. I'm sure there are Ataris out there that can go on for many years more without recapping. Heck, there are even older equipment than our Ataris that still runs well without a recap...


You're not wrong. But I'd like to point out that it's not that black and white. It's not simply that it works (caps good) or doesn't work (caps bad). There is so much in between. Flickering screens on disk access, weird behavior, crashes, etc, etc. So while someone is happy with their "working" ST, they might inadvertently fix some issues they were having by recapping. Bottom line is, you're not gonna hurt anyone or anything if a proper recap is done.

I love car analogies and I will use one here. Although no one's safety is at risk here, consider caps as car tires. If you drive them beyond its rated tire wear, it still works as a tire. But not as well as a new one. It'll take you where you need to go but you'll have poor performance especially in the wet. Your braking distance gets longer. You might get vibrations due to uneven wear. You're also more likely to get a puncture with old worn tires. At some point you know you have to buy new tires. Some want to keep going for as long as they can. I would still urge people to not drive with old worn tires.
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby Greenious » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:36 pm

Gaiyan wrote:You're not wrong. But I'd like to point out that it's not that black and white.


You must have misunderstood me, the whole point I was trying to make is that the recapping issue is not black or white, your caps doesn't go bad from one day to another, and certainly not at a fixed date. It's a gradual process that is individual and depends on several factors. When enough is enough is up to the individual.

People are free to recap their stuff annually (and listening to some of the highpriests in the church of ReCap, you should be doing just that :roll: ) or even more often if they want to, I don't care about that, what I do care about is the almost hysterical nonsense that it "has to be done", just because they are x years old. I bet the same people would toss their grandparents in the tarpit at 70 if someone told them...
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Re: Atari 520 with Glitches

Postby dlfrsilver » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:14 am

Greenious wrote:
Gaiyan wrote:You're not wrong. But I'd like to point out that it's not that black and white.


You must have misunderstood me, the whole point I was trying to make is that the recapping issue is not black or white, your caps doesn't go bad from one day to another, and certainly not at a fixed date. It's a gradual process that is individual and depends on several factors. When enough is enough is up to the individual.

People are free to recap their stuff annually (and listening to some of the highpriests in the church of ReCap, you should be doing just that :roll: ) or even more often if they want to, I don't care about that, what I do care about is the almost hysterical nonsense that it "has to be done", just because they are x years old. I bet the same people would toss their grandparents in the tarpit at 70 if someone told them...


The problem is that Atari, exactly like Nec or some others manufacturers used really crap capacitors. The Amiga who had top quality caps is also impacted.

The fact is Greenious, that you don't believe what's happening with the old caps. Honestly, if and many of us wouldn't have to recap, we just won't do it. But the fact is that the manufacturers placed the caps as obsolescence parts. they can kill the hardware.

I own many ataris, STF and STe, and only one out of those had from day one good capacitors (don't ask me why, i just don't know). All the others got awfully bad capacitors from day one.

Capacitors life span is independant from the use you made of your hardware. Beyond 20 years (and way less for crap capacitors!), you have to change to change the capacitors !

It's not a story of maybe, maybe not, we'll see, and so on. The retro machines need to be serviced ! I just can't count how many people, (even on Amiga!) buying and using Amiga or ST like if they were bought from shops in the 80-90's.

Lately an Amiga guy complained on facebook because after using his computer, the PSU just failed big time (the Amiga has 1st rate capacitors, and those are of course dead since long time !), and now his amiga is dead !

Another guy owning an ST has posted here on AF indicating that his PSU went yonky.....

And each time it's the same story, 30 years old machines used like if they were brand new, with no revision, and more than often, they come saying "oh no, cluck me, my hardware is dead !".
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